Not as many fireworks this past weekend, but we continue to get a better understanding of what the PAC-12 is and isn’t in 2022 with a tight race for the conference championship game coming down to the wire.
After 10 weeks of this season of predictions, my own personal record sits at a total of 58-15 for 79% after going 5-1 this past weekend.
Washington — 24 #23 Oregon State — 21
Two teams that matchup fairly evenly took the field in Seattle on Friday night in a game that came down to the final seconds. During the game each team had one turnover, each team had nine penalties, Washington did what it does best with quarterback Michael Penix went 30/52 for 298 and one touchdown while on the other side Oregon State as a team ran the ball 40 times for 175 yards and two rushing touchdowns. However, the key stat of the game for either team was the fact that the Huskies went 11/18 on third down which ultimately helped Washington march down the field on the final drive of the game and setup the game wining field goal. I predicted that Oregon State would beat Washington.
#8 Oregon — 49 Colorado — 10
Another dominant win for Oregon as they traveled to Boulder for a cold road game against a woeful Colorado team who are focused on their future. Quarterback Bo Nix was able to have another stellar performance after going 20/24 for 274 yards and two touchdowns, one of those went to a true freshman offensive tackle. In addition to that, he rushed for two more touchdowns and actually had a receiving touchdown. Colorado’s focus seems to be on their long term future which is what they should be doing, but they could also be looking at potential portal candidates to come in and immediately contribute after they hire a new coach to try and get their program back to winning ways. I predicted that Oregon would beat Colorado.
Washington State — 52 Stanford — 14
This game caught me by surprise. I was expecting a much closer final score, but Washington State disregarded that expectation, completely exploded on offense, and thoroughly impressed me. However, what impressed me the most was the Cougars rushing attack that they brought with them to Stanford rushing for 306 yards yards on 38 carries for 8.1 yards per carry and three touchdowns. Stanford looks like a shell of it’s former self, dealing with quite a few injuries, only rushing for 71 yards themselves, and having four turnovers on Saturday. It definitely looked like Wazzu took out their frustrations from this season and channeled all of that on the field as they throttled the Cardinal. I predicted that Washington State would beat Stanford.
#14 Utah — 45 Arizona — 20
Utah has continued to display their dominance and that was on full on Saturday when they dismantled Arizona. Three key stats stick out to me in Utah’s favor. The Utes had 306 rushing yards on 55 carries for 5.6 yards per carry and five rushing touchdowns. They had only one penalty throughout the entirety of the game. Utah finished the game going 8/12 on third downs. If you put together a game like that, you have a great chance to win a lot of football games regardless of the opponent. On the other side, while Arizona has already eclipsed the amount of wins they had last year, they certainly had higher expectations for their 2022 season and their struggles on both sides of the ball show that while they’re on the right track, there is still a lot of work to be done before they are going to become bowl eligible. I predicted that Utah would beat Arizona.
#9 USC — 41 Cal — 35
The game that probably surprised the most people with it’s final outcome was the fact that Cal was able to put together a comeback and come close to pulling off a shocking upset of USC. The Trojans had a 34-14 lead entering the fourth quarter and it seemed like they let their foot off the gas and became a little bit complacent. Despite only rushing for 63 yards, the Golden Bears, led by quarterback Jack Plummer went 35/49 for 406 yards and three touchdowns. On the other side, quarterback Caleb Williams continued to be extremely efficient in this USC offense going 26/41 for 360 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 38 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. Certainly a surprising final score, but USC was able to get it done when they needed it in clutch moments. I predicted that USC would beat Cal.
#12 UCLA — 50 Arizona State — 36
Another final score that was slightly surprising was the fact that Arizona State was persistent enough to keep things interesting late into the fourth quarter before UCLA sealed the win in Tempe. UCLA’s run game was absolutely dominant from start to finish and they were missing the PAC-12’s leading rusher Zach Charbonnet. The Bruins finished the game with 42 carries for 402 yards at 9.6 yards per carry and five rushing touchdowns. Arizona State put up a valiant effort to make things interesting after a late fourth quarter touchdown to make it a 42-36 game with 6:24 left. Originally starting the season as a backup, quarterback Trenton Bourguet has started the last two games and in this one he looked very impressive going 38/49 for 349 yards and two touchdowns. This Sun Devils team is showing some fight under interim coach Shaun Aguano and despite all of their woes this season, there’s still something to fight for. I predicted UCLA to beat Arizona State
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